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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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I had a auto accident with a rental truck that driven by an

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I had a auto accident with a rental truck that driven by an employe of the rental truck co.
the truck ran a stop sign right in front of me and I hit it broad side. The truck had very light damage but my jeep grand cherokee had considerable damage. The truck driver was cited and the rental truck co. admits resposibility, the problem is with compensation. My
1998 grand cherokee was in like new condition with only 53,000 miles on it. If they go by
the book value for my vehicle I would be getting paid for a beater with about 250,000
miles on it. I had planned to keep my jeep until I expired or had to go to a nursing home whichever came first, I have social security and can't afford a large car payment. Can I make
them fix my jeep or give me enough to get a more reasonable replacement. Clyde
Hello Clyde:

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm glad to answer your question. Your question is a common one--what are one's compensation rights in the event of an auto accident when there is no dispute as to liability but a dispute as to the extent of the damages? The answer is that the negligent party is responsible for the actual, reasonable, foreseeable damages. It really doesn't matter what a book says the value of an auto is--an automobile is worth what someone would be willing to pay for it, and if the vehicle is totaled, the negligent party is responsible for the vehicle's replacement value. That number can sometimes be disputed in good faith, so it sometimes helps to offer evidence of the vehicles value--commonly, this means going to a source like and searching for comparable vehicles (preferably in the geographic area) to see what it would cost to purchase a comparable vehicle. If that new information doesn't lead to an agreement, then the courts are designed to deal with exactly that sort of dispute. The plaintiff (the injured party) can just sue for the amount of damages to which he believes he is entitled and let the court decide who is right.

In short, "yes", you make someone pay proper compensation for the damages caused by their negligence, but if you can't agree, that means taking them to court. Small claims court may be an option, depending on the amount of damages you are seeking.

Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thanks.
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